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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jun 2024 - 7 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 03

Neurosci Biobehav Rev


Sex differences in mechanisms of pain hypersensitivity.


Mogil JS, Parisien M, Esfahani SJ, Diatchenko L


The introduction of sex-as-a-biological-variable policies at funding agencies around the world has led to an explosion of very recent observations of sex differences in the biology underlying pain. This review considers evidence of sexually dimorphic mechanisms mediating pain hypersensitivity, derived from modern assays of persistent pain in rodent animal models. Three well-studied findings are described in detail: the male-specific role of spinal cord microglia, the female-specific role of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), and the female-specific role of prolactin and its receptor. Other findings of sex-specific molecular involvement in pain are subjected to pathway analyses and reveal at least one novel hypothesis: that females may preferentially use Th1 and males Th2 T cell activity to mediate chronic pain.